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Blog posts tagged with 'Mold Spores'

Hurricane recovery and the added dangers of black mold

In the short time that Hurricane Sandy flooded out many of the homes along the east coast. Sandy survivors were confronted with a multitude of serious issues such as low temperatures, damage to their homes and many other obstacles that is making recovery efforts a major uphill battle. One major issue many of them are being forced to contend with is rapid mold growth in their homes.

The health department states that they are closely monitoring emergency room visits and the hospitalization of those who are suffering respiratory illnesses as a key to determine if the threat of mold infestation is serious enough to warrant aggressive recovery action but is willing to admit there are no set guidelines to follow in the case of evacuating a region hard hit by mold infestation.

It’s important to understand mold reproduction starts when mature mold growth releases spores into the atmosphere. These spores are suspended in the air and are a part of the natural are we breathe on a daily basis and are the common cause of many of the allergies. Local weather stations will often include a mold count on their daily broadcast. The higher the number, the more likely there will be allergy sufferers.

Removing mold spores from any structure is almost impossible to control since the air outside will always find a way to get inside. Air conditioning filters and air purifiers can dramatically reduce the mold count in the environment; however it is almost impossible to completely be mold free.

The big problems with mold inside a building begin with water. Any area inside a structure that is always damp or has standing water is a prime setting for mold spores to collect and proliferate. Once mold spores locate a water source they will settle in and begin to grow. Mold growth can be very rapid in prime conditions therefore it is important at this stage to remove the mold infestation and dry out the infected area and most importantly, remove or bring under control the source of water that allowed the mold to grow. Without removing the source of water, mold will most certainly return.

Since last year, there are about 75,000 scientifically identifiable species of mold with a projection that there may be as many as 1 million fungal species that have yet to be identified. Not all mold species are harmful. Some are even beneficial such as those varieties that produce truffles and the various types that produce edible mushrooms. There is even a species of mold that has been proven capable of devouring toxic petroleum products and leaving behind a completely safe, environmentally friendly growth in its place. It use is currently being considered as a go to answer for cleaning oil spills. Some companies are even looking at mold to produce products such as toilet paper. Go figure.

Identification of a mold species is mostly dependent on costly DNA testing. AdVnt Biotechnologies as developed a black mold test that uses the genetic identifiers of black mold species to help identify toxic black mold from most common mold infestations. The INFORMANT 15-minute black mold test uses licensed antibodies to positively tag black mold spores for positive identification, therefore making sure that it does not show a positive result for more common mold varieties.

Toxic black mold is a species of mold, that if allowed to proliferate can produce a toxic substance known as mycotoxin. It is this substance derived from black mold growth that has been shown to be fatal to humans, especially those who suffer with compromised immune systems. There are to date, 3 known species that are known to produce this toxicity and can become a serious health hazard if left unchecked. Stachybotrys, Aspergillius and its close cousin Penicillium are the three species known to produce mycotoxins. The second requirement for mold growth is oxygen. Where conditions for mold growth are ripe, mycotoxins are produced as the mold expands and spreads into colonies releasing the toxic byproduct into the air. It is import to understand that mycotoxins as a result of growth of black mold is viewed differently than those cases of mycotoxins exposure that causes harm through the ingestion of misidentified mushrooms. In the case of toxicity to humans through mold growth, the victim is often not aware of the hazard until it causes some harm.

AdVnt Biotechnologies INFORMANT 15-Minute black mold detection test was specifically designed to test mold growth found in homes for this highly dangerous species. Each test kit with the items required to run two complete tests. The easy to follow step by step instruction sheet allows users to quickly identify if the mold growth in their homes is of the toxic variety. Waiting days for lab results is now a thing of the past. The INFORMANT 15-Minute black mold detection test can be purchased from our website at www.advnt.org. The INFORMANT Black Mold Detection Test is not available in stores.

The serious issues of black mold growth in the regions hit by hurricane Sandy are not ones to be taken with a grain of salt. Identifying and removing mold infestations are often tied in with a homeowners struggle to obtain the necessary funding in order to properly eradicate the infestation. The longer it takes for relief funding the more serious the situation can become. Complicated paperwork to get federal relief and slow moving insurers and politicians on the take is just a few of the many hurdles the victims of this tragic event will have to face in order to win back their homes and their peace of mind.

The Economics of Black Mold

AdVnt Biotechnologies LLC, the first company to design a rapid Bio-Warfare detection device that can run 5 test from one sample, decided that the next project they would develop should be one that hits close to home. Not just close to home but actually in the home or office and with good reason. With the highest foreclosure rate in American history showing no sign of slowing down while the mortgage of many houses are costing more then the property is worth. The current economic crisis is taking a horrendous toll on both the homeowner and business owner. The very last thing a concerned homeowner wants to hear about during these uncertain times is an economic threat that could be growing behind the walls or floorboards of their biggest investment. Unfortunately for those residences that live in regions that have had high water and moisture accumulations or flooding this past year, mold growth and it’s economic impact is a very real concern. So when AdVnt Biotechnologies LLC was looking for the next big biological threat to US citizens, the decision to research and develop a product to add to their catalog of Bio-Threat Detection Tests was a no-brainer. AdVnt Biotechnologies set out to design a low-cost device that could accurately detect the dangerous black mold species responsible for costly damages to both health and hearth. Their efforts paid off and now AdVnt Biotechnologies is proud to announce it’s successfull new black mold detection device… “The Informant 15-Minute Black Mold Detection Test”.

Since there are over 100,000 + species of mold and scientist are always finding more new species, there is no getting away from mold. It is just as much a part of the world we live in as the air we breathe, the ground we stand on and the water we drink. Mold is everywhere, but when mold enters a home under the right conditions, the only course of action is to take action before things get out of control. Like the old Benjamin Franklin quote goes…”Time is money… and when it comes to mold growth in a home, there simply is no other statement that sums it up best.

Mold enters a home as microscopic spores that are most generally carried by airflow. Once these spores find the perfect condition such as high humidity, water, moisture, oxygen and a food supply the spores starts to thrive, grow and reproduce until they become more then a common nuisance. Festering and feeding themselves on the materials that makes up the very structure of a home or office, such as wood, drywall, leather goods, food, ect … Once these intruders take root, the mold spores then grow until they become an economic liability with horrific long-term financial consequences. Not unlike the deregulation of our banking system during the greed rush of the 90’s that set the stage for the eventual crisis we are all now having to confront. Mold spores like Enron, Maddoff, and those shifty real estate investments conspire to eat away at your hard earned investments without giving you the slightest clue to the amount of damage that is being done to your health and welfare. A black mold infestation left untreated in a home or business can have a staggering impact on the building infrastructure resulting in expensive mold remediation bills and extremely high medical cost to those unlucky enough to be living or working within the structure.

When mold is left untreated, it becomes unsightly, smelly and in the case of three types of species, hazardous to your health. This type is known as Black Mold. The staggering economic losses that come from a severe black mold infestation ranges from decreasing the value of your home and rising medical cost for the treatment of symptoms such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infections, migraines, and in the case of those who live with immune challenged systems, long-term damage to their health or even death. Structural damage to buildings that require mold remediation can be as little as a simple clean-up to having the entire building demolished.

The Center for Disease Control as determined that of the 100,000 known species of mold, three qualify for causing hazardous health problems for humans. Penicillium , Aspergillus and Stachybotris. These three species are capable of producing Mycotoxins, a type of metabolite that can be poison to some species but not to others. The type of mycoxins produced depends on the type of species produces it. It is the effects of these mycotoxins that the Center of Disease Control was able to narrow down the mold threat to humans to just three species.

Thanks to a device like the “Informant 15-Minute Black Mold Detection Device”, Accurate early detection of black mold infestations can now be done for a low cost and in the privacy of your home or office. Once the mold spores are collected with our easy to use sample collection kit, you will know in as little as three to 15-minutes if you have active, dangerous mold spores. With this information you will have the evidence you need in making the decision to contact your insurance broker or a qualified mold remediation specialist. Saving both time and money. The long-term savings in protecting yourself, your family and the value of your home will more then pay for itself.